Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Green House Tour on 165 Ave

As a greenhouse nut living in Edmonton, I've discovered a route that beats all others: 165 Ave, east of 97 Street. Drive past Alberta Hospital and suddenly its greenhouse/nursery/market garden land. Every quarter kilometre another greenhouse pops up. Little ones, bigs ones. Some of them sell bedding plants, other's just bare root trees and shrubs (found $20 Explorer Series Rose bushes at Arrowhead Nurseries!), others, like Kuhlmann's have huge inventories of garden gnomes and water features. 
One of two hanging baskets.

It's a route on which a great deal of money can be spent on a leisurely Sunday afternoon.

Nearly at the end of the road, past the North West of Edmonton and into the North East, is my favourite spot: Visser's Greenhouse. You may know them as the potato farmers who partnered with Greater Edmonton Alliance to for the "Great Potato Giveaway". They are potato farmers, but also greenhouse operators. And what a greenhouse! Hanging baskets provide a overhead carpet of colour and scents. Each plant stand has a variety of choices, offering ideas for companion plantings in pots and boxes. There's a small coy pond and two areas (one outside with sand, the other inside with slides) for kids to play. Every single plant looks happy and healthy-- can't say that for the meagre offers I saw last weekend at Canadian Tire and Rona. 

This year, I planned to splurge on two of my hanging baskets by our dining table and on the window box Mat just built for the garage. We can see all three of these from the deck where we perch most of summer. 

In year's past I've filled these baskets/box with plants I grew from seed. So my petunias flowered in August, and my squash didn't bother to grow past a foot. Every summer I've been cheap and by August rather disappointed I hadn't cheaped out elsewhere. 

So, buoyed by this hot May long weekend and the magic that is Visser's, my cheap back was broken and I spent an average of $40 per basket/box. I filled them with a sun loving variety of begonia with startling colour then filled them out with purple and green sweet potato vine. I filled the box out with bacopia (sp?) and ivy. 

I am delighted with the result. Now, I HAD BETTER WATER!

When I married Mat, I've got to admit that "handy" wasn't on my list of qualities for a life partner.  Now, 12 years wiser, I realize that that was a critical oversight. Thankfully, Mat's handy AND knows how to operate power tools. Even better, he can turn a boring flower box into a bit of art. 

1 comment:

Mrs. Nepper said...

Love the basket and planter. They look great. Aren't begonias amazing? And yes, handy men are handy types to have around :)